Science

“Only a naive person would believe that protecting free speech is Elon Musk’s only motivation to buy Twitter.”

EIon Musk is trying to convince us that he is working tirelessly to improve the welfare of mankind. His crown jewel, Tesla, is well on his way to successfully freeing us from oil-based mobility. Space X promises us the colonization of Mars, if, however, we need planet B. Its new startup Neuralink opens up new transhumanist perspectives, the first step of which will be the restoration of speech and mobility of paralyzed people. “Larger than life” as the Americans say.

Now Elon Musk’s Promethean ambitions are taking a new step. With the $44 billion (€41.7 billion) acquisition of Twitter, he now acts as a champion of free speech and a guarantor of the “future of civilization.” Amen.

Read also: Twitter takeover by Elon Musk: why the “freedom of speech” defended by the billionaire worries

The brilliant entrepreneur accesses the microblogging site just as he has done so far as a user, i.e. through provocation, targeted insults, manipulation of all kinds, and a mixture of cynicism and demagogy that belongs only to him. The billionaire is one of the most active trolls on the web.

But what used to be distracting or annoying is now taking on a completely different look, because Twitter is not a company like any other. A virtual agora where top opinion leaders debate among millions of internet users, the social network influences the political climate of the moment, whether we like it or not.

A troll, Elon Musk, when he tries to make us believe that the takeover of Twitter will have no other purpose than to restore freedom of expression in Western societies suffering from political polarization. The initiative quickly found a positive response from a whole section of the American conservative right, especially from their most extremist and conspiratorial fringes. This current sees itself as a victim of a form of censorship that only protects progressive ideas and political correctness.

It’s good for business

The “good camp,” as the libertarian billionaire ironically calls it, got off to a quick start, warning of the backlash that less content moderation on Twitter would cause. Where does freedom of expression end? Who controls it? Should it be complete, as Mr. Musk claims, or should it be filtered to remove hateful content, harassment and fake news? There are so many fundamental questions that are unlikely to have definitive answers in the context of an exacerbated split, largely shaped by the social networks themselves.

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